Ah, the year 2022. When we thought we would have flying cars and robot sidekicks.
Well, parts of that are true with rumbas and hoverboards. But many of us crave getting back to the basics - the plant basics, that is.
Like all new endeavors, it's important to get the information first. Like, "Does Alexa really listen to everything I say?" Or, "How long do edibles stay in your system?"
And while you might think those two questions have no place being in the same sentence together, think again. It's the year 2022! Where plants meet technology.
So let's try to answer some of those questions, shall we? (Okay, but do you really want to know the answer to that question about Alexa?...)
See Related: How Long Do CBD Gummies Last?
What are edibles?
A cannabis edible is exactly what it sounds like: some form of food, baked goods, or hard candies that contain cannabis. But not all of these cannabis food products contain THC.
There are CBD edibles which typically contain little to no THC. And there are other forms of edibles that contain a higher content of THC along with other cannabinoids.
So what you eat in the context of cannabis edibles is very much a choose-your-own-adventure-type deal. And who doesn't love a Choose Your Own Adventure?
How does the body process edibles?
When you eat edibles, the accompanying cannabinoids and THC make their way through your digestive system. And once ingested, it makes its way to the liver.
The liver converts your delta-9 THC gummies into 11-hydroxy THC. And this is where consuming cannabis differs from smoking it.
(Ah, what a perfect segway! Sorry, just patting ourselves on the back for a moment.)
Consuming edibles vs. smoking cannabis
Smoking or vaping cannabis still triggers the endocannabinoid system. But when you smoke cannabis, it goes directly to your bloodstream rather than through your digestive tract.
This means that its active ingredients like THC may take longer to take effect than when you inhale smoke. But the digestion process involved with eating cannabis or marijuana edibles may make the effects of THC last longer than smoking marijuana.
See how the choose-your-own-adventure-archetype keeps coming in? Yeah, good on us for coining such a great analogy!
How long do edibles stay in your system?
This answer depends on a few factors like potency, the amount of THC consumed, etc. But here's a general guideline for you that makes it easier to break down.
These types of edibles are the kind we talked about earlier. You know, the popular form of brownies, cookies, and other sweet snacks - even pet CBD too!
Gastrointestinal edibles typically get absorbed into the body once they reach your digestive tract. Then, it can take another couple of hours to feel any of its effects.
But even after the effects have subsided, THC can stay in your system and bloodstream for many more hours. That's because your fat cells have to flush the body of THC through your urine.
So, the lower your body fat percentage, the more you pee, and the faster the edibles will leave your body! Of course, hours will vary from person to person.
You might be thinking, what's the difference between oral and gastrointestinal edibles? Well, an oral edible is like a tincture or lozenge.
So the edible technically gets absorbed through the mouth and under the tongue. These types of effects can take as little as 15 minutes.
That being said, how long THC remains in your system is significantly shorter than gastrointestinal edibles. And your system will flush out the THC through urine, just as it would with other edibles.
So you know that your body processes edibles at different rates between oral and gastrointestinal consumption. But what about an edible that is absorbed both ways?
This kind of sounds like a riddle where the answer is a CBD rub. But the answer is far simpler than that.
Cannabis and marijuana drinks! When you consume a marijuana drink, you're absorbing marijuana both orally and through the gastrointestinal tract.
And this way, this edible and its effects get into your body much quicker. And stay in your system longer. Pretty cool, right?
So as far as the question of how long do edibles stay in your system, it really boils down to this: it will take longer to get rid of the THC in your system from edibles than if you smoked or vaped.
FAQs about cannabis edibles
We know you probably came here with the singular question, "How long do edibles stay in your system?" But we figure there are some follow-up questions that inevitably follow.
How do you get edibles out of your system faster?
Unfortunately, there's not really a clear-cut answer to this. You might have a drug test coming up and you don't want it to detect THC.
But like alcohol, it just takes time. That being said, some say that exercise may help you burn off some fat cells. But there's no scientific backing to prove it.
Do cannabis edibles show up on drug tests?
Yes, they do! THC can be identified in the body for a much longer period of time, ranging from a couple of hours to a month depending on the drug test you take. Here's how it all breaks down:
Drug tests typically take a blood sample. And THC can continue to show up in your blood for the next 3-4 hours after consumption.
Saliva is a different animal altogether. It can take up to 1-3 days for THC to leave your system. Even with THC getting flushed out through fecal matter and passing urine.
If your drug test includes urine tests, just know that THC will continue to show up on a drug test 3-30 days after consumption. And just as a reminder, it takes your body longer to flush out larger amounts of THC too.
Hair can take up to 90 days to flush out THC. Yeah, it's got the memory of an elephant!
Do edibles expire?
Yes and no. Just like perishable foods, cannabinoids can degrade over time but the other ingredients used will preserve the food itself. That's why it's especially important to store your products correctly.
How do I store my cannabis products?
Cannabis products love dark, cool places away from heat and direct sunlight. If they're left out in a warm, sunny spot, they can degrade over the course of even a couple of hours.
Can you consume too much THC?
Yes. Too much consumption of THC can lead to some unwanted effects. But if your marijuana use is fairly consistent, you may have built up a tolerance to its effects.
We wish we could give you a quick and easy answer. After all, it's the year 2022!
But alas, how long it takes edibles to leave your system remains a fairly large window of time to predict. In the meantime, you can work on your New Year's resolutions! Like incorporating more plants into your life (hint hint).
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